The Rebels return home to take on the Auburn Tigers today after falling to the road to Tennessee on Wednesday night. After winning two in a row, the Rebels disappointing loss to the Vols takes some wind out of their sails as the push for postseason ramps up across the country.
The Rebels now sit as 14-10 overall and 5-6 in the conference. Plagued by inconsistent play, the Rebels postseason fate may be slipping away. With just seven games remaining in the regular season, the Rebels will surely have to advance deep into the SEC tournament if they hope to be a part of the NCAA tournament.
The Rebels first matchup with Auburn this season ended with an 88-85 victory, Ole Miss’ first in the conference. Six Rebels scored in double figures, led by Deandre Burnett with 18. Burnett hasn’t shown the high scoring ability in recent games, but has been picked up by the play of his teammates. Terrence Davis has emerged as the Rebels new threat on the offensive end, leading the team in scoring in their last three games.
Scoring became an issue late against the Vols, as the Rebels didn’t score a basket after the 3:56 mark in the second half. Head coach Andy Kennedy was less than pleased with his team’s effort down the stretch.
“We were up by two with the ball with around 3:50 to play in the game, and then I think we finished like a pinball. If you drop it in their real hard and shoot it off the underneath the black pad, you get a point like a bumper. That must have been our strategy. I promise you that was not the intended game plan because we had about four or five of those at the end.”
A similar effort late in the game against Auburn will surely result in another loss. In winning efforts against Vanderbilt and Mississippi State, the Rebels showed what kind of team they can be. In losing efforts, the Rebels continue to make fans starch their head and wonder what the difference may be from game to game.
Since losing to the Rebels in early January, the Tigers are 6-3. Auburn was able to put 98 on Mississippi State in their last game, so this is an offense that has to potential to get rolling. It isn’t just the Auburn starter that can score in bunches as the bench pitched in 41 points in the winning effort.
Tip-off at the Pavilion is set for 5 p.m, and The SEC Network will carry the game. The matchup can be heard on the Ole Miss Radio Network and OleMissSports.com.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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